Sunday, May 15, 2011

Free Blouse Pattern and How-To!

Alright, here is my first pattern/how-to/tutorial! This blouse is part of my 10 piece winter travel set and I came up with the pattern myself. Here I will show you how! It is super simple and you can adjust it to your own measurements.

There are two ways you can use this pattern. Either use my measurements - I wear a European size 36, a Small usually. But I will also tell you how I came up with the numbers, and by taking your own measurements you can easily customize this pattern to your very own liking and shape. It is a super simple pattern and as it is meant to fit loosely. You will have an elastic in your waist, and an adjustable band for the top, so the measurements don't need to be super exact.

For a first overview, this is roughly what the pattern pieces will look like:

Kind of cool, right? Definitely not intimidating!

These are the measurements you will need:

If you want to compare yours to mine to see if my pattern would fit you, here they are:

1. Bust measurement at strongest point, 88 cm (34,5 in.)
2. From sternum (height of armpits) to finished hem 40 cm (15 3/4 in.) (Mine was quite short, you might want to add some)
5. Around the body at shoulder level, including the arms, about 100 cm ( 39,5 in.)
6. Width of arm at strongest point (flex your biceps!): 28 cm (11 in.)
7. Length of sleeve from shoulder point to where you want your hem: 53 cm (20 3/4 in.)

You will also need the wrist measurement and the waist measurement later.

And here is how you construct the pieces:
Ok, now you can start sewing. Sew the side seams and the sleeve seams first. If you want elastic for your wrists, you can sew the sleeves all the way and make the hem the same way I made my hem for the bodice. If you want little sleeve cuffs like mine, leave them open at the bottom by about 18 cm (7in.).
Sew the sleeves to the bodice (the raglan seams), including the 10 cm allowance at the top. Now fold the 10 cm (4 in.) allowance at the top (neck) in half (use your iron!) and zigzag it to the wrong side of the blouse:
The pin is my marker for the center
Don't worry if it doesn't look great, you will now pin and sew a band over that stitching line. Leave a little opening and fold under the ends:

Use a cord or make your own self-fabric band like I did and pull it through that channel you just made.

For the hem, I folded under the allowance (about 6 cm, 2,5 in), however long you want your blouse to be. I stitched it to the wrong side just like I did at the neck. Then in three rows, I sewed a wide elastic to the back (over the hemline), using a zigzag stitch again:

I hate tight elastics in my waist. I suggest you make the elastic fit your waist without stretching it
For the sleeve hems you can do the same thing. Or you leave the bottoms open, use bias tape for that slit or make a very small little rolled hem like me (but do a nicer job than me!):

Fold under the hem, zigzag it to the inside like the other hems, gather the sleeves to the width of your wrist (but don't forget to add a bit of ease for the button...). Now sew a band over the hem stitching line and the gatherings. You can sew in a little loop for a pearl button like mine:
I did not do a very nice job, I was so giddy to get done... The fabric is forgiving, though...
You are done!

The sleeves are hanging at a weird angle because we used the 45 ° angle (actually 135°), which makes the underside of the sleeve longer than the upper side. For this kind of blouse, this is intentional, because it gives that nice loose, flowy shape to the sleeves. I like it that way. If you don't, you can experiment with different angles. It does not have to be the same angle at the bodice and the sleeve, but the raglan seams have to be the same length, so the pieces match...

Let me know if any of this is too vague for you, please. My English sewing terms are still not really where they need to be to write proper tutorials, but try me - I can learn! :-)


  1. Danke, das ist ein tolle, super ausführliche und liebevoll umgesetzte Anleitung! Die Bluse erinnert mich an Barbara Streisand in "Hello Dolly" - und jetzt kriege ich das eine Lied nicht mehr aus dem Kopf...

  2. Ich liebe diese Bluse! Muss ich unbedingt mal ausprobieren! Yeah, bin so glücklich, dass es noch einen Blog gibt mit einer Bloggerin aus Wien! Super!

  3. I've been searching for a good blouse pattern and came across this how-to. This is great! I can't wait to try this out. Thanks for sharing (^_^)

  4. I made a very simple version, but I want to do somethin JUST LIKE YOURS, I love it.
    You can see my work here: